I was 4 years old, not yet in kindergarten. Sharing a room with my 5 years old brother, we sat on the floor building Legos. Building classrooms, ---a teacher sitting on her desk and her students on their own desks, was my favorite make-believe game. As a teacher, I loved all my little Lego students unconditionally. In this fantasy world, I talked to my students and made the rules. I showed kindness and cared for all of them. All my students had hidden treasures. They shared their histories and life experiences with me. I had learned much from them. Time and again, I built new classrooms, with different students who were very amusing and made me imagine new possibilities within each Lego person. In many years later, while I was a sophomore, working as a part-time teacher aid for an elementary school, I recognized that all my Lego students were preparing and inspiring me for my future profession.
Everyone arrives in a profession with their accumulated experiences. At times, I think, I was destined to be an art teacher. When I was a child, I spent my summers abroad traveling with my family and learning that the world exists with millions of colorful people with cultural and linguistic differences. In later years, I took road trips and train journeys visiting many cities of old European and their museums. I also experienced the richness of historical and archeological sites of the Old World. These experiences and my education in Atlanta College Art (presently Savannah College Arts and Design) helped me to make sound choices and understand that for Arts the sky is the limit. Every day, teaching arts I push myself to the limits of the sky. I hold 2 different teaching credentials, single subject in Art and a Career Technology Education (CTE) in Art/Design. I have a Master Degree in Arts in Curriculum and Instruction. I am also an Integrated Learning Specialist and I assist other subject teachers to integrate art into their curriculum in order to enable their students to develop art appreciation, understanding, and art-related vocabulary.
I have been enjoying teaching Art and Digital Media for over12 years. My philosophy of education tightly envelops the California Standards for Visual Performing Arts and is a work in progress. I am and have been an avid teacher encouraging my students to envision their creative abilities while encouraging them to incorporate themselves into their artistic work. All my students are bold heroes with endearing flaws; My challenge is to teach them to believe in themselves, to grow stronger and imagine their future as lush and prosperous. As Maya Angelou once said “Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud”, I strive every day to be that rainbow for my students.
My teaching of arts builds a community where each of us contributes to the learning process through our life experiences. I design my curriculum holistically to engage my students in their learning, to envision new dimensions of how to create, to present, to respond and to connect to arts.
Presently, I am incorporating TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) into my curriculum. I am very positive that with a sound instructional planning, integrating technology, pedagogy and visual arts content into my daily lessons will allow my students to develop conscious awareness, which contributes to arts appreciation and learning. My work on TPACK is yet in progress as I am examining, defining, and choosing activity types and necessary technologies to support my students’ learning. I am aiming to gain necessary pedagogical knowledge and experience of TPACK to create an environment for my students where my subject, Arts, will be readily accessible and understandable.
Lasting Learning from the Innovative Learning Program
Technology and specifically students’ proficiency on computers is very important for them to achieve their learning goals in my classes. To respond to their different learning needs and abilities, other than lecturing, I enable them to seek knowledge from variety of resources such as images of paintings and photographs from the web sites, the in-class art library, and from invited guest artists. This approach enhances their learning while provoke their imagination and enable them to think critically and creatively. In short, my own innovated education is continuously evolving and developing as I hunt for new learning tools to refining and modifying my teaching of Arts as a good student of my career.